It is very important for businesses to consider 2 if not all available Customer Support Software in their daily undertakings. Not forgetting, customer loyalty is fast becoming the Holy Grail in all our daily business operations.
Often, your loyal customers are less likely to buy from your competitors. And, they are more likely to share a positive customer experience through word of mouth. Meaning, there’s more business for you at a lower cost. However, if you want to level up your customer service you need one or more customer support software.
Of course, using an email to answer customer issues and tracking them on a spreadsheet is utterly cheap. But you are risking losing customers if they get angry because you missed their email.
What is Customer Support Software?
Simply put, the purpose of Customer Support Software is to enable you to manage, organize and track customer requests using a single platform. Likewise, it consolidates these issues and conversations and associates them with customer records. While providing your CRM and sales more insights to personalize campaigns.
The main feature is the ticketing system, which transforms customer emails, calls, social posts, and chats messages into tickets and routed to agents for immediate resolution. But, what is customer support software really in relation to other service-oriented solutions like Bitrix24, Helpdesk, and Freshdesk?
In a study by Human Development Index (in short HDI), an association of technical support professionals, the support center is most commonly referred to as a service desk (36%) or help desk (23%). Both support channels, however, focus on providing technical assistance, either to customers or employees.
Specifically, the help desk handles break-fix cases, for example, computer crashes, while the service desk not only addresses break-fix issues but also accommodates tech-related requests like a new computer.
In contrast, customer support software is a more general help desk that tries to resolve customer queries around the product beyond its technical aspects, but within the break-fix mold.
If you still doubt whether you need customer support software, consider the characteristics required of a support center in the next five years.
This is, according to research by HDI and Robert Half Technology.
All these are enabled by good customer support software.
In this guide, we’ll explain to you all you need to know about this software.
Including its benefits, features, issues, and trends, specifically, answering the question of what is customer support software and the following points:
What are the Benefits of Customer Support Software?
As an example, through Customer Support Software, you can solicit testimonials. Whereby, customer service software can capture a customer’s positive experience.
A call can be recorded or an email traced and, with permission, the information can be repurposed as a product testimonial for your site or software review platforms.
In addition, your customers get an automated response. Time-consuming repetitive processes like ticket sorting, routing, queuing, routine reporting and other administrative tasks can be automated. Saving your support team time for more important tasks.
Here are more benefits of customer support software;
1. Never miss a ticket
A loss ticket can send a customer on a rampage and, worse, you lose his business. Customer support software automates ticket routing and tracks ticket statuses to ensure all customer inquiries are accounted for.
Managers and team leaders may also be alerted of pending tickets, avoiding escalating issues. Furthermore, since tickets are associated with related records including previous conversations, an agent can quickly take over a ticket. Without repeating the process from scratch, a really annoying scenario for customers.
2. Gain customer insights
As you accumulate tickets, issues, resolutions, cases and support interactions, your customer database becomes a trove of insights on your market. Using analytics you can run reports on key metrics and discover patterns or trends that otherwise may have escaped the naked eye.
Over a period of time, you will have a better perspective of your product’s vulnerabilities based on customer complaints. Likewise, you will have a more accurate feel of your market, which allows for more responsive campaigns or product development.
Similarly, associated records give you a 360-degree view of your customers, their purchasing history, habits, needs, wants, likes, complaints, suggestions, etc.
3. Deliver 24/7 support
Many solutions provide a way where customers can send their inquiries via email outside of business hours. The emails are automatically transformed into tickets and routed to the first available agent during office hours. This way, you are essentially providing all-day, year-long access to your customer service.
Additionally, customer support software gives you a clear picture of how your agents perform, not only on a per-case basis but over a period of time. It is easy to see if your customer service is improving or sliding down. This insight enables you to plot possible skills gaps and develop training to fill in the cracks.
4. Provide the right service
Not all customers are equal, especially if you have a service-level agreement (SLA). SLAs are your promised level of support that customers expect once they sign up with you.
Customer support software commonly provides a field in the customer record that indicates its SLA. Other systems also automatically route premium SLA tickets to the right agents, eliminating the time-consuming task of ticket sorting.
The more unique cases you receive, the more robust your FAQ portal becomes.
What are the Types of Customer Support Software?
We can consider customer support software as the general category where more specific solutions fall under.
They are grouped based on their core function. On this note, we can categorize them into four major types.
It is commonly interchanged with customer support software, but to be strict about it. Help desk software only addresses the break-fix aspect of customer service (hence, the term “help”). And is often focused on the technical side of the product.
The help desk software is designed to answer FAQs and problem-solution cases, usually featuring a robust knowledge base of the product specs.
IT service desk
It also addresses the product’s technical aspects and break-fix cases like the help desk but adds another dimension: service.
This can mean accommodating requests like buying a new equipment or software license, for example.
While it is a tool that can be integrated into a help desk or IT service desk, live chat is commonly offered, too, as standalone software.
It can serve both the functions of the help desk and the IT service desk.
Call center software
Like live chat, it can be integrated into a help desk or IT service desk but is also offered as an independent solution.
The primary focus here is customer service through voice calls.
What kind of customer service you want to provide and the resources you have will influence the kind of solution you need.
For instance, Live chat may be attractive and affordable, but you may need a hands-on team round the clock. Call center software obviously demands more skills from your agents. Since they’ll be conversing verbally in real-time.
Find out first your capabilities and match them with the right software type. Below are the topmost customer support software you can consider;
Bitrix24 is #1 free client management (CRM) and customer service solution, used by 4 million businesses worldwide.
Cloud/mobile/open source editions available. Multichannel customer service – email, telephony, website live chat, Facebook, Instagram, Viber, WhatsApp, Skype, Slack, and other mobile messengers are supported.
Generally, Donate is a cloud-based helpdesk system that offers powerful solutions for customer service.
Freshdesk unifies conversations from email, phone, web, chat and social, and helps you resolve issues across channels effortlessly. With Freshdesk, you can also automate workflows, offer convenient self-service options, manage SLAs, and generate reports.
HelpDesk is an online ticketing system that simplifies your team’s work. It’s full of features that foster collaboration within your team.
You can use tagging, add private notes, assign tickets to specific team members and create canned responses. To ensure the highest level of security, the system encrypts your data with a 256bit SSL protocol.
4. RingCentral Engage Digital
Just as it is unthinkable to leave a store without a salesperson, it is essential for brands to adopt channels to support customers during their online purchases.
Therefore, you should Manage all your digital customer service channels through a single platform like RingCentral Engage Digital. Agents can manage multiple channels through a unique interface, increasing their response speed, streamlining resource allocation and leveling the flow.
5. ManageEngine SupportCenter Plus
SupportCenter Plus is a web-based, ITIL-ready support software designed for IT organizations that offer IT support to their clients.
It serves as a common platform for all customer service management. Users can track, manage, and resolve help desk tickets easily, thereby delivering prompt customer support that takes customer satisfaction to a whole new level.
LiveChat provides a cost-effective way for your support team to deliver a great experience across the entire customer journey.
It makes customer service more efficient by letting you hold multiple chat sessions at the same time, send canned responses to frequently asked questions, add chat tags, review chat transcripts and send files to customers through the chat window.
7. Agile CRM
By the same token, Agile CRM Customer Service Software – Provide superior customer service and maintain satisfied customers over the long term.
Agile CRM enables businesses to provide a more personalized customer support experience. With a host of powerful help desk automation features at your fingertips, you will better understand your customers so you can be there to assist when they need you most.
By all means, Acobot allows you to build artificial intelligent chatbots for the everyday online retailer.
Acobot is one of the leading artificial intelligence chatbot providers for e-commerce and online retailers. Powered by advanced machine learning technology, Acobot learns from your website and engages with users autonomously.
LiveAgent harnesses the power of a universal inbox, real-time live chat, built-in call center, and a robust customer service portal.
Advanced automation features, rules and vast amounts of integrations create powerful customer service software for businesses of all sizes. Join companies like BMW, Yamaha, and Huawei in providing world-class customer service.
Start your free trial, no credit card required. LiveAgent is the most reviewed and #1 rated live chat software for SMB in 2020.
Through Userlike, switch to a better method of customer communication. For your customers, support agents, sales reps and managers.
Chat with your customers via your website, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram and/or SMS. Connect your chatbot and automate parts of your customer interactions. Born and hosted in Germany, Userlike keep your and your customers’ data safe with a 100% GDPR-compliant communication solution.
- ProProfs Help Desk,
- eDesk, and much more!
The cost of customer support software is usually on a per-user basis.
Potential Issues When Implementing
Firstly, there’s too much-automated support. Customers may be annoyed when they have to key in a lot of choices before getting a human voice or an answer to their question.
This has been a material of many a sitcom. As a rule of thumb, limit system automation that asks for customer inputs to two tiers, thereafter, the customer should already be connected to your agent or knowledge base.
Equally important, unattended live chat is worse than being unable to provide live chat on your site. Once you’ve plugged in a live chat on your site, make sure someone is monitoring the tool. An unattended live chat speaks volumes to customers that they are not important or that you don’t have time for them.
It’s better not to have this tool if you lack the commitment to attend to chat inquiries.
Read more about Freshdesk | The Best Helpdesk Tools for Customer Support
At the same time, there’re potential security issues. As with other cloud solutions, cloud customer support software is vulnerable to hacking.
Customers reveal sensitive data like credit card details, personal information and bank accounts over the support channel, which are a prime target for cyber sleuths. A customer support software with bank-grade security should alleviate this risk.
It is also prone to an underutilized system. If the software is difficult to use, it is likely that managers and agents will only use the basic features.
This undermines the cost you’ve invested in the system.
Latest Trends in the Platform world
Your customer service requirements now will likely change as your business grows. Can the software grow with your needs?
For example, you may be okay with email support for now, but tomorrow, you may need a call center or advanced analytics as competition heats up. Likewise, as you expand to other markets outside, make sure the software can follow suit.
Support is one of the three customer-facing processes (the other two are sales and marketing), hence, the customer support software needs to integrate with other key business processes to leverage customer data.
Primarily, it must be able to export its data to CRM and sales solutions and vice-versa for customer insights. Other apps that it needs to work smoothly with include business productivity, email clients, business intelligence and app connectors.
Make sure, too, that the software has an open API so you can integrate your own apps, should you need to. Below are the Latest Trends in Customer Support Software;
1. AI chatbots
Machine learning, predictive analytics, and other AI technologies make it possible now to launch machine chatbots that can follow human conversations.
As of today, we already see AI chatbots handling basic customers questions, but we expect chatbots in the next few years to even provide intuitive answers to complex issues.
It is not a hype to expect that the entire customer support software category wiped out in the next decade.
2. Big data-driven personalized service
The availability of big data, customer data that you culled from various sources including your own systems and social media networks, makes it possible to personalize service down.
By all means, to the specific preferences, interests, habits, and history of customers. Big data will also allow customer support to pinpoint with accuracy trends and insights.
3. Internet of Things (IoT)
IoT connects devices to the cloud, which makes it possible to closely monitor and anticipate customer needs. One impact that IoT will bring to customer support is the ability for customers to connect the device to a support system.
For example, an IoT home device connects to customer support software to solve a bug. It may even disrupt the need of traditionally setting up an office of customer reps with the device and system able to communicate directly.
4. Internet of Everything (IoE)
Internet Of Everything (IoE) has been one of the trendiest topics lately and it is here. But, why should you care? Obviously, because the Internet of Everything is the upcoming most innovative and Ubiquitous technology advancement.
In reality, which is going to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before. For instance, turning information into action that creates new capabilities. As well as, richer experiences and unprecedented economic opportunities for businesses, individuals and countries.
As of now, the idea behind IoE is that in the future, Machines will become more intelligent and cognitive by having more access to data and expanded network opportunities.
Read and learn more about the Internet of Everything (IoE) | Why Should You Care?
And with this in mind, What do you think about Customer Support Software? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments section below this blog.
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